December 27, 2018 4:45 PM, EST

CFI Logistics Acquires Chicago-Based Optimal Freight

CFI trailer Tom Biery/Trans Pixs.

Truckload carrier and logistics firm CFI announced plans to acquire Chicago-based Optimal Freight from its parent company in Canada.

CFI, a North American subsidiary of Montreal-based TFI International Inc., assumed responsibility for Optimal Freight on Jan. 1, according to CFI officials.

CFI is based in Joplin, Mo., and has 3,000 employees and independent contractors.

Optimal Freight had been focused on brokerage business in Canada, but CFI and TFI officials decided to transfer it to the U.S. side of operations, CFI President Greg Orr told Transport Topics.

“It was a better fit to roll up within a U.S.-based company,” Orr said.

Orr said CFI now plans to grow Optimal Freight out, something not as likely as long as Optimal Freight focused on Canadian business.

Noam Frankel


Optimal Freight provides transport of truckload and less-than-truckload shipments throughout the United States, Canada and Mexico. Its services include dry van, temperature controlled, expedited, over dimensional and intermodal, according to CFI.

Optimal was founded in 2011 by Noam Frankel, according to the company’s website. Frankel co-founded American Backhaulers in 1982, managing the freight brokerage firm during its formative years before it was acquired by C.H. Robinson. Frankel then built the truckload capabilities of Echo Global Logistics before starting Optimal, according to the company’s website.

Orr said the timing for the transition is ideal as CFI expands its logistics division and customer service offerings in 2019.

CFI, formerly the Con-way Freight company, has U.S. offices in Joplin, Dallas and now Chicago. CFI was purchased by TFI from XPO Logistics in fall 2017. Established in 1951, the company’s truckload segment delivers 53-foot dry van truckload transportation services.

In the United States, CFI owns and manages 15 terminals and drop lots. The company hauls about 25,000 shipments a month, Orr said.

Through sister company CFI Logistica, CFI’s Mexico operations include an LTL network and has aligned carriers that travel into South America, according to the company’s news release.

Business continuity will remain intact as Optimal Freight rebrands and operates as part of the CFI Logistics organization, CFI officials said in a news release.

TFI International Inc. operates across the United States, Canada and Mexico through its subsidiaries. The company offers package and courier services, LTL, truckload, and logistics and last-mile services. TFI is publicly traded on the Toronto Stock Exchange and in the United States.

TFI International ranks No. 9 on the Transport Topics Top 100 list of the largest for-hire carriers in North America.